After such a riveting experience earlier in the week of Spring Break at Fitzgerald’s with “Country,” band Lucero, there was a bit of hesitance in respects to other shows later in the week. Though the list of artists at SXSW is large and vast, their sets are usually short and constrained, even though you are able to see a multitude of artist; you do not get that full live experience.
One of the artists who played in Austin for this music expo and also stopped by Houston was Kasabian. This band formed in the late 90’s and began their success in the late 2000’s. After winning awards such as the Brit Awards, Q Awards, NME Awards, and MOJO awards, we can see why there is much hype around their latest album, “Velociraptor!”
They also have played across many venues and festivals such as the Isle of Wight Festival, Rockness, and Rock Werchter. This year they have been called to be at the top of the bill at T in the Park, as well as Reading and Leeds. Being named the, “Best British Band,” at NME had a contributing factor to this, but this group has had this coming for a long time with their impressive tracks and attitude on stage.
As Hacienda, the Tex-Mex root based band left the stage after showing off their new album, “Big Red and Barbacoa,” the crowded venue became even more crowded and huddle closer to the stage as the effects of the sold out show were seen. This band played well and gave hints as to why; Dan Auerbach (Lead Guitar and Vocals of The Black Keys) was the producer for this bands latest album. The merchandise table usually located along the side wall of the venue was moved outside to make more room for patrons.
As the lights dimmed and Kasabian took the stage, the crowd clapped and roared as the band went to their instruments looking as if they were the ones happy to see us. They waved and cheered towards the audience as they began to play, “Days are Forgotten,” a crowd favorite and one of the singles which pushed this band forward on the UK charts for weeks as well as NME. It was controversially the first single from the album and one of the most memorable songs since it shows a slight evolution of the band, yet it also demonstrates how they keep true to themselves.
The set list was composed of about one third tracks from their latest album and the rest songs scattered from all spectrums of their albums. Overall the tracks they chose held a heavy rock foundation, which made the audience jump and scream the lyrics of this English Rock sensation. During the entirety of the show the band held such enthusiastic composure always jumping and moving on stage as well as asking for audience participation for the full two hour set. The floor of Fitzgerald’s felt like a thin wooden panel which would collapse as the crowd jumped and danced to, “Stuntman.”
As the band left the stage, the crowd did not budge a bit as they all unanimously screamed for an encore. The lights never switched on and remained dim during the entire time that the band left the stage signaling that they had yet to finish their set.
A synth beat began from the speakers while no one was on the stage, the heavy pulsating beat was the intro to,” Switchblade Smiles,” which is my favourite song of the album. The audience let out a scream as they began to realize it was the intro to the famous track which was played only a few weeks ago live on NME. The band took the stage once again, and with the crowd now knowing what they were in for, released all of their energy to this amazingly performed track. Though it was not one which sounds like traditional Kasabian, it is one which could only have its final record production, be nothing but a miniscule beat in comparison to the throbbing bass and heavy guitar in the live performance. The show ended with the surge of guitar from the song, “Fire,” which was an amazing fit to ending what was one of the best shows ever held at this venue.
Not only does this band have the tracks and albums which would easily make anyone a fan of at least one song, they hold the energy to put on an over the top and amazing performance. Though they have yet to break America, they surely are on their way to and with their tour which covers most of the states, they will have an enthralled and active fan base as audience see what they can do.